Grace, Susan Andrews 1949-
GRACE, Susan Andrews 1949-
Born February 26, 1949, in Tisdale, Saskatchewan, Canada; daughter of Thomas Joseph and Mary Elizabeth (Cavanagh) Grace; married Gordon Andrews, August 29, 1970; children: Katherine Mary, Thomas Gordon, Patrick Daniel. Education: University of Saskatchewan, B.A., 1998; University of Nevada, Las Vegas, M.A.
Office—c/o Nelson Fine Art Centre, 625 Front St., Suite 301, Nelson, BC, V1L 4B6, Canada. E-mail—[email protected]
Poet and textile artist. Volunteer in Saskatchewan arts community, 1974-97; former administrator of fine arts center; publisher of Hag Papers; Nelson Fine Art Centre writing program, Nelson, British Columbia, Canada, member of faculty. Exhibitions: Solo exhibitions include Inside/Out, 1991; 100 Unknown Fibre, 1994; and Cov(r)n, 2000. Co-designer and coordinator for community project for Peace Quilt, 1987; and various group exhibitions.
League of Canadian Poets (chair of Feminist caucus, 1991-93).
Canada Council Explorations grant, 1987; Peace Messenger Award, United Nations, 1987, for Peace Quilt community project; Philosophy Prize, St. Thomas More College, University of Saskatchewan, 1998; Saskatchewan Book of the Year Award, 1998, for Ferry Woman's History of the World; several Saskatchewan Arts Board grants.
Wearing My Father (chapbook), Underwhich Editions, 1990.
Water Is the First World, Coteau Books (Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada), 1991.
Ferry Woman's History of the World, Coteau Books (Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada), 1998.
Contributor to numerous literary journals and anthologies, including Women and Words: The Anthology, Harbour Publishing, 1984; Cracked Wheat, Coteau Books, 1985; Heading Out: The New Saskatchewan Poets, Coteau Books, 1986; A Labour of Love: An Anthology of Poetry on Pregnancy and Childbirth, Polestar Press, 1989; and Our Fathers, Rowan Books, 1995.
Poet and textile artist Susan Andrews Grace has been active in the Canadian arts world for a quarter of a century. She has published three books of poetry and has contributed to numerous literary journals and anthologies. Having earned a master's degree in creative writing, she is on the writing faculty at the Nelson, British Columbia, Fine Art Centre.
Grace's most recent book of poetry, Ferry Woman's History of the World, has its roots in the poet's own exploration of her family's history back to its noble Norman ancestor, Raymond le Gros. Ferry Woman has been called an "alternative prayerbook," according to Pauline Ferrie, in a review for Bookview Ireland.
The book is organized into three sections: "The Book of Gilliosa," where the central narrator discovers the Ferry Woman, a crone who takes her to meet matriarchs Mary and Nesta and to explore the many aspects of a woman's life; "Ferry Woman: A Book of Authority," in which they continue on their watery and spiritual journey; and "The Book of Fitzgerald," in which Gilliosa researches her ancestry and explores religious beliefs.
The book is described as both novel and long poem, although it is written mostly in verse. Beryl Baigent, writing in the Canadian Book Review Annual, pointed out that its three sections could also warrant its classification as "a Celtic triad of short stories." But, she noted, it is really none of these, as Grace "is offering the reader the wholeness of chaos, from which one must find one's own yin and yang." In an afterword, Grace tells the reader of her own experiences with "the Ferry Woman." Baigent thought it might have provided more access to Ferry Woman's Critical History of the World as a foreword, but she concluded, "presumably, though, access is not the point."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Canadian Book Review Annual, 1998, Beryl Baigent, review of Ferry Woman's History of the World, p. 225-226.
Bookview Ireland,http://www.bookviewireland.ie/ (February, 1999), Pauline Ferrie, review of Ferry Woman's History of the World.
League of Canadian Poets,http://www.poets.ca/ (April 1, 2003), "Susan Andrews Grace."
Nelson Fine Art Centre,http://www.nfac.ca/ (April 1, 2003), "Susan Andrews Grace."*